Author Guest Post: E.J. Stevens
Throwback Thursday! We revisit a author post from 2016.
Today’s Guest Author offers up an interesting Fantasy book with horror elements.
Hound’s Bite (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #5) by E.J. Stevens.
Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab’s creations behind when she escaped Faerie. She thought wrong.
In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents. Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force—The Wild Hunt.
Will the training Ivy received in her father’s court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt? She is willing to risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death. When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt’s hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to love most.
Hound’s Bite is the fifth full-length novel in the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens. The Ivy Granger series has won numerous awards, including the BTS Red Carpet Award for Best Novel, the PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Urban Fantasy Series.
“The Ivy Granger Books are a blast, fast paced, full of action and just the right twists of humor. HOUND’S BITE is absolutely no exception. I’ll do you one better, HOUND’S BITE shows the continuing evolution of author E.J. Stevens into a force to be reckoned with in the Urban Fantasy genre. She holds her own with the likes of Delilah S. Dawson, and Faith Hunter. I’m looking forward to book six!”
– James A. Moore, author of the Seven Forges series
“I devoured this novel. … Many things are revealed in Hound’s Bite; things that have been plaguing Ivy for a long time. The revelations are not all good or bad, either. There is a fine mix of joy and dread woven into the pages of book 5.”
– Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
The night was broken by howls that sent icy claws skittering down my spine.
“What the Hell is that?” I asked, gloved hands reaching for my blades.
Ceff lifted his hands apologetically, mouth struggling to form words in a way that wouldn’t upset me. I could read his discomfort in his stiff posture and the tightening of the skin around his eyes.
Torn had no such concern for my feelings.
“You didn’t think you could enter Faerie without consequences, did you, Princess?” Torn asked with a mocking sneer.
So much for friendship. Apparently, returning to Harborsmouth had brought out Torn’s snarky side.
The doors to Faerie had been sealed by Mab, Titania, and Oberon when they disappeared more than a century ago. The faerie paths no longer led to the Seelie and Unseelie lands. Lucky for me, I’d found a key to a hidden back door.
At least, that key had seemed like a stroke of luck at the time. I’d needed a way into Faerie, to the wisp court that promised clues to my father’s whereabouts. Not that my journey had been easy. Nothing worth fighting for ever was.
The ability to come out of hiding? That was worth fighting for. I was tired of slinking around the shadows of my city.
The problem was that, even though I’d been raised human, the supernatural gifts I inherited from my father, Will-o’-the-Wisp, continued to grow like wildfire—burning me in the process. With no one to teach me how to control my growing powers, I’d broken the one rule that all fae live by. I used my powers in public, without glamour, and risked exposing the secret of our kind to humans—a crime punishable by death.
It didn’t take the fae uppity ups long to send a faerie hit squad to take me out. The Moordenaar, a group of elite assassins, shot me full of poisoned arrows. I died. Thankfully, I had a magic apple up my sleeve—an apple that resurrected the dead, and not in a creepy, zombielicious kind of way.
So, yeah, I died, but I got better. Take that faerie assassins. Ivy Granger: 1, Faerie assassins: 0.
With the fae believing I was dead, I used my father’s key to enter the wisp court. As I said, it hadn’t been easy. I did things there that were sure to give me nightmares—more than I already had—but I’d foolishly believed that the worst was behind me.
Surviving a trip through the land of the dead and into Faerie and back again—homicidal relatives and all—had left me hopeful. I’d learned how to control my powers. My friends and I had survived. Heck, I’d only been back a few minutes and already I’d managed to heal the wisps, who had been living in Jinx’s father’s junkyard, of their iron sickness. It was starting out to be a good day.
I should have known better.
But I had so many reasons for being hopeful. I was returning to Harborsmouth after demonstrating my newfound control to the Unseelie Court. The ruling fae had decided that I was no longer a threat to their existence. That meant no more hiding. For once, no one was trying to kill me. Even my relationship with Ceff was in a good place. My life was supposed to go back to normal.
Another hungry howl pierced the night, and I grimaced.
“This is no time for games, Torn,” I said. Getting an answer from a cat sidhe was like following the metal ball in a game of Mouse Trap. I was pretty sure that Torn was allergic to straight answers, but I was sick of playing the mouse. Our journey to Faerie had been an exhausting one, and I was short on patience. The sooner we fought the big bad monster coming our way, the sooner I could go home and drop into my bed. “Did we wake the Hound of the Baskervilles, or what?”
Ceff and Torn exchanged a meaningful look, faces grim. I flashed Ceff a grin, hoping to lighten the mood, but he shook his head.
“Torn is right,” Ceff said. “It would seem that our trip to Faerie was not without consequences.”
“What consequences?” I asked, throwing my blade laden hands in the air. “Will one of you just tell me what is out there? A heads-up might make killing the howling monster a little easier. Knowledge is power, yada yada.”
“You will need more than mere blades to fight this enemy,” Ceff said.
I ground my teeth while mentally stabbing a picture of my cryptic boyfriend with my “mere blades.”
“Are you saying we should run?” I asked, eyebrows raised. “Because you should know me better than that.”
“What he’s saying, Princess, is that you woke up something too big for the three of us to defeat alone,” Torn said.
That made me pause. We’d fought faerie queens, pyro demons, a lovesick necromancer, and a psychotic lamia, to name a few. I may not have come through those battles unscathed, or with all my guts still on the inside, but at the end of the day, we’d won. With my friends at my side, and a new arsenal of wisp powers at my fingertips, I felt nearly invincible.
I looked to Ceff, hoping he’d grab his trident and join me for some quick monster cleanup. I may not be on the clock for this one, but I didn’t let hungry fae prowl the streets of Harborsmouth. And if Torn was right, I’d somehow let this one follow us out of Faerie. No way was I turning tail, no matter how tired I was.
But Ceff didn’t reach for his weapon.
“We need allies,” he said.
“And larger weapons,” Torn said, with a wink.
The cat sidhe looked excited, which was a clue that I wasn’t going to like the answer to my next question.
“And what monster do we need to gather our allies and weapons against?” I asked.
“Haven’t you guessed yet, Princess?” Torn asked, eyes gleaming. “We’re not just facing one howling beast.”
Ceff turned to me, closing the space between us. In the moonlight, I could see my reflection in the dark pools of his kelpie eyes—eyes that were tight with worry.
“What are they?” I asked.
Ceff’s voice was low and reverent, and tinged with the taint of fear.
“The Wild Hunt.”
E.J. STEVENS is the author of the HUNTERS’ GUILD urban fantasy series, the award-winning SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, and the award-winning, bestselling IVY GRANGER urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.
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